Detroit News article

Canton ice-dance show is nationals warmup

STEVE PARDO

The Detroit News

Canton Township -- Visitors to Arctic Edge Ice Arena on Friday enjoyed what could be a sneak peek at an Olympic matchup between the top ice

dancers from the U.S. and Canada.

Partners Meryl Davis and Charlie White -- the 2009 U.S. national champions -- along with the 2009 Canadian national champions, Scott Moir and Tessa Virtue, performed the routines they will use in their respective nationals competition this month.

"It's for the community," said Craig O'Neill, Arctic Edge general manager. "And it also gives the kids a chance to get into their costumes and perform prior to the big stage of nationals."

A strong performance at nationals translates to a spot in the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics. Both pairs of skaters train daily at the Arctic Edge, so there's a strong possibility one ice arena could be home to four medal winners.

"We've been prepping really hard and training. We've been doing well all year and we're both feeling good and healthy," said White, 22. "We're just ready to go out and get there."

White and Davis have been skating together since 1997. They're the longest-lasting dance team in the United States and are ranked number one in the world.

Moir and Virtue are ranked third in the world and are equally confident.

"It seems like everything is coming together, which is just awesome," said Virtue, 20. "I feel fit and strong and ready to take on the world."

It's an improvement over last year. Virtue had leg surgery in October of 2008 because she was suffering from a condition called chronic exertional compartment syndrome -- a condition that stems from overtraining. The pair had to pull out of the Skate Canada competition that year while Virtue recovered.

"We're healthy now and we plan to stay that way," said Moir, 22. "As long as we stay healthy, we're going to be a force to be reckoned with."

Ice dance became an Olympic sport in 1976. It's similar to ballroom dancing in that the couple is judged on their rhythm, interpretation of music and precise steps. Unlike pairs skating, it does not include overhead lifts and jumps.


Original article here.

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